Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School! Although spring is only a few weeks

Julie is a counselor for the Lakota boys and girls at St. Joseph's.

Julie, Family Service Counselor

away, it has been cold and snowy in Chamberlain. The kids are getting a bit antsy and most are ready for warmer temperatures so they can be outside and run off some energy!

We are also at a point in the school year where our seniors and our eighth grade students begin final preparations for their next steps in life.

Where will I go to college or what will I do after graduation? What high school will I attend?

All of these questions lead to some anxiety, introspection, and excitement.

As a Family Service Counselor, it is my job to help the students asking themselves those questions continue making plans for the future.

St. Joseph’s is proud to have six seniors graduating from our high school program this spring!

St. Joseph’s is proud to have six seniors graduating from our high school program this spring!

Many seniors have already applied to colleges or for military service and are pretty secure in what their next step will be. We continue to put plans together to plan the details that will help those students succeed in their next endeavor.

As we work on the process of selecting eighth grade students for our high school program, we work to keep stress levels down and ease anxieties. No matter what our eighth grade students choose to do next, it will be a new adventure!

While it is exciting to see a student graduate from high school, it is a bittersweet moment as we prepare to let the students spread their wings and fly. While many of our eighth grade students will return to our high school program in the fall, some will choose to attend high schools in other places… another bittersweet moment.

No matter what a student chooses to do after these milestones in their lives, we wish them well and wish them success.

As we navigate through the end of winter and the season of Lent, it is a good time to reflect on what the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School and in what ways we can continue to be of service to the Lakota (Sioux) students and their families. We truly thank all of you who have chosen to be of service to our mission here at St. Joseph’s, through donations, prayer, and support.

Without your commitment to service, we would not be able to provide the programs necessary to help the students learn the skills they will need to survive in the world.

So as the last weeks of school quickly approach, know that amidst home trips, softball, track and summer preparation, you who support us so well are not forgotten!

We pray for you daily, and thank the Lord daily for all you do. May God Bless and keep you always.


Family Service Counselor

Good day from St. Joseph’s,Fr. Anthony explained the vestments, colors, books, chalices and paten, the altar and tabernacle and sanctuary lamp.

This was a big weekend at St. Joseph’s Indian School with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) Sacramental Prep Class having a mini-retreat on Saturday. Over 30 students are preparing to receive the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, which is a decision they make with their families.

Most of the class will be baptized and receive the other two sacraments. Nine are preparing just for First Communion and one, who is already baptized in another denomination, will be making a Profession of Faith and then receive First Communion.  The students have been studying since early October.  They joined with others around the world to take part in the Rite of Election on Sunday by which they again affirm their desire to draw closer to God and sign their names in the Book of the Elect which acknowledges their commitment in front of the whole faith community present at Mass.The students made stoles decorated with symbols relating to the sacraments and will wear them when they are baptized.

As you can see from the pictures, they made stoles decorated with various symbols relating to the sacraments and will wear them when they are baptized. In Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel I explained the vestments, colors, books, chalices and paten, the altar and tabernacle and sanctuary lamp.

They also had the opportunity to practice receiving the host and taking a sip of wine, which brought out some interesting facial expressions! The children preparing for First Communion had a chance to try a sip of wine.

Another session dealt with the seven Gifts of the Spirit, followed by painting a blessing cup. They made bread, which was shared with their individual homes.  It was a wonderful time helping them prepare for their big day in April!

Also on Saturday the fourth, fifth and sixth grade Braves took part in a basketball tournament hosted by Chamberlain. Teams came from surrounding communities in central South Dakota.  Sadly our fourth and sixth grade teams went out early despite keeping their games close. Our fifth grade team lost their first game but came back strong to beat Crow Creek and Mitchell to capture third place. Way to go guys!Students painted their own blessing cup as part of their preparations to receive the Sacraments.

Besides the basketball tournament, there was also a wrestling mini-clinic that some of our younger boys took part in. Thank you for helping us offer the Lakota children a variety of activities to help them cultivate lifelong interests!

I hope you have a great week as the month of February comes to an end.  Know you and your intentions are remembered in our prayers as the children ask the Great Spirit to bless and reward you for your generosity for their education and care.The children made bread which they shared with their homes.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from the staff and students in St. Joseph’s Pinger Home (4th, 5th &

Mike works with the Lakota girls in 4th and 5th grades

Mike, a St. Joseph’s houseparent

6th grade girls)!

Since we last visited, things continue to go fast and furious for the girls.  We finished up our basketball season in December and all the teams (4th, 5th and 6th) came home with winning records.  We had a great year working with the girls and they really progressed as the year went along.  I was fortunate enough to be able to help coach all three of these grade levels and there was a lot of talent on the floor.  The best thing though, is that they came to practice with a smile on their face and worked hard every day.

After Christmas break, the girls came back and we had our St. Joseph’s Christmas party.  What a great time that was! Thank you for your generosity – without your support, these things wouldn’t be possible for our students.

We had our St. Joseph’s Christmas parties when the students returned from break.

The Pinger girls had an awesome Christmas thanks to you!

Now the girls are staying busy with cheerleading, gymnastics and martial arts. The sixth graders are still involved in basketball through our inter-city program, which combines the St. Joseph’s girls with girls from Chamberlain for scrimmages on Sunday afternoons.

St. Joseph’s girls’ basketball season concluded just before Christmas break.

Mike helped coach the 4th, 5th and 6th grade basketball teams.

We are still walking almost every morning and so far have put in almost 15,000 laps which equals out to 750 miles.  Spring break is closing in fast and that will mark the end of the 3rd quarter of the school year.  It’s hard to believe that it has gone so quick! Thanks for all that you do to help the children and support our mission at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Best wishes from the Pinger Home girls and staff,

Mike P

We serve and teach, we receive and learn.

This is a saying we have here at St.

Chelsey and her mentor match, Hope.

Chelsey’s mentor match, Hope, is in St. Joseph’s high school program.

Joseph’s and the truth of it is becoming more evident as I spend each day working with the Lakota (Sioux) students at St. Joseph’s Indian School. In my short year and half, I’ve had the privilege of working with the students in first grade all the way through seniors in high school. Staff members receive and learn various things from each age group.

I’ve learned from the younger students to live life spontaneously and carefree. Their little spirits, full of life and laughter, never cease to leave a smile on my face. They are full of curiosity and always asking questions. After spending an evening in one of our younger homes (students in grades 1-3), I can’t help but walk out feeling energized a­­­­­­nd reminded to live simply.

Recently we celebrated Catholic Schools Week and the seventh and eighth graders did a video on what faith, knowledge, and service mean to them. I was reminded of the role technology is playing in the world today, when one of the kids said service is something you have on your phone when you can call or talk to other people. The teacher needed to clarify a bit more on what type of service they were talking about. J

I was so inspired and encouraged by what these young students shared about their core beliefs in faith and what it means to them!

Occasionally I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with the high school students too. I am part of the mentor program and my mentor match is in high school. We enjoy getting together to do fun activities. She is always up for anything and the high school students are very active! Several of the high school students have siblings or cousins who also attend St. Joseph’s – they are great role models to the younger students. They set high goals for themselves and are continually working toward becoming the adults they desire to be.

Each student is unique and special, bringing different qualities, characteristics, and personalities to St. Joseph’s. Every day is an opportunity for staff and students to serve and teach, and receive and learn from each other.

Thanks for making this work possible!

Chelsey, Family Service Counselor

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Last week was amazing.  The weather was great — no snow and lots of sunshine. It was a busy week for the Lakota (Sioux) students!

We have recently been talking about grades for our elementary students and their induction into the National Honors Society. Now I can report on the high school program! The home with the lowest number of missing assignments for last quarter was the Giles Home (junior boys, plus one sophomore). The home GPA trophy went to Hogebach Home (sophomore, junior and senior girls) with an average of 3.32.  Our five high school homes combined to earn 93 A’s and 18 students earned a GPA of 3.0 or better. Way to go!!

This past Saturday saw the local community take part in the annual Polar Plunge with 28 participants.  Seven of our staff signed up to be St. Joseph’s TURTLE POWER team. The event raised a little over $15,000.00 which will benefit the Special Olympics in South Dakota. St. Joseph’s Turtle Power team contributed $2,100 along with the $200.00 from the Penny War held at St. Joseph’s to give our students a way to participate. Three other staff members and myself ‘volunteered’ to have our pictures put on jars that students and staff could drop pennies in. Next week, the ‘loser’ will be announced and receive a Whip Cream pie in the face in front of the whole student body.  Those who donated were also able to enter a contest to see who gets to ‘throw’ the pie.

St. Joseph’s staff members teamed up to raise money for South Dakota Special Olympics.

St. Joseph’s TURTLE POWER team raised $2,100 for the Special Olympics of South Dakota.

Recently the Knights of Columbus held their annual free throw contest and the Chamberlain-Oacoma Area Chamber of Commerce piggy-backed on that to hold their Hot Shot competition for 9-14 year olds.  St. Joseph’s students racked up several wins, along with the children of staff members. Congratulations everyone!

Campus was bust last Saturday as we hosted our annual 8th grade boys’ basketball

St. Joseph’s hosted a basketball tournament for 8th grade boys’ teams last weekend.

Miller, Pierre Indian Learning Center (PILC) and Chamberlain were invited to take part in St. Joseph’s 8th grade boys’ basketball tournament last weekend.

tournament.  Miller, Pierre Indian Learning Center (PILC) and Chamberlain were invited to take part. St. Joseph’s beat Chamberlain 54-29 in the first game and Miller beat PILC 48-28 in the second.  Chamberlain and PILC then played for 3rd and PILC won 34-31.  In the championship game, St. Joseph’s fell behind early and could never quite catch up, losing to Miller 57-51. We congratulate all those who took part and thank them for some exciting games!

I hope each of you has a relaxing and enjoyable week ahead.  Know that we keep you in our prayers in gratitude for your support and encouragement of the programs we offer our Native American students and their families here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


P.S.  The local paper had a recent article that named Adrian, one of St. Joseph’s high school students, as the Chamberlain High School Athlete of the Week.  This is the same young man who earned the attention of an opposing coach, who then called up the local high school to commend Adrian for his sportsmanship. Congratulations and good job to Adrian!

LaRayne imaciyapi ksto hi, my name is LaRayne. I get to live out my passion of sharing Lakota culture in the classroom at St. Joseph’s

LaRayne is St. Joseph's Native American Studies teacher.

LaRayne, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher

Indian School by teaching Native American Studies.

Recently, I was able to take 11 students from grades 2-8 to a gathering of our nations at the Lakota Nation Invitational Conference in Rapid City, South Dakota with my co-teacher, Allen, for a statewide Lakota hand games competition.

You might remember reading about LNI and St. Joseph’s Knowledge Bowl Team.

You are probably wondering what “hand games” are. I am told there are more than 50 different ways to play, but we played “Lakota” style for this tournament.

Two teams of up to 10 players sit directly across from each other. Each team has four wood pieces (called bones) to hide behind their back. One of the “bones” is marked with a line and is called the male. Each team also has eight sticks, which are used to keep score.

Lakota hand games teams have up to 10 players each.

Two teams of up to 10 players sit directly across from each other with four wood pieces (called bones) to hide behind their back.

Each team has a turn to have one of their players guess which hand the male bone is in. If they guess correctly, they take the bone from the other team. If they guess incorrectly, the guessing team gives up a stick.

The team hiding the bones uses movement, drumming and singing to distract the guesser on the opposing team and break his or her concentration. The first team to acquire ALL of the sticks is the winner. There are lots of detailed rules in addition to this, but I will keep it simple here.

There were 20 teams in the competition, and we played six games (the last three via the loser’s bracket) through the day to come out CHAMPIONS!

But wait, that isn’t the end!

We also were asked to be a part of the grand entry during the evening session of the basketball tournament that is held at the same time! We pinched ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming! After lunch, we stood on the gym floor in front of many of our oyate (nation) and listened to many honorings, speeches and names of student attendees.

Among the honored guests was Shoni Schimmel, the most popular WNBA player (according jersey purchases). The kids thought it was really neat to see her in person.

But wait!

While searching for some cotton candy, Aurelia and I stumbled upon the opportunity to have our picture taken with Shoni Schimmel! We gathered our team and set out to have our photo taken with the WNBA star!

And just because that wasn’t enough, the kids were presented with new coats designed for the winning team and 15 seconds of fame by being announced on television during the halftime awards ceremonies.

Needless to say, our students are more interested in hand games than ever!

Pilamaya – thank you,


St. Joseph’s hand games team took first place at LNI – congratulations everyone!

With their first place hand games victory, St. Joseph’s team got specially designed jackets, a plaque and were announced at half time.

Dear Friends of St. Joseph’s Indian School,

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

That dreaded word was back again over this past weekend — SNOW.  It seems like Chamberlain was on the edge of the storm, but starting with Chamberlain and moving east the amount of snow fall just kept rising — Mitchell got about 3”, Sioux Falls received 6”, Chicago had a foot and a half and New England another foot or so.  Our grounds crew did a great job of getting all the streets on campus open as quickly as possible.

Last week was Catholic Schools’ week, we ended the week focusing on academics. The day ended with the induction of members into our new chapters of the National Junior and Elementary Honors Society.    There were eight Junior Honor Society members and seven Elementary Honor Society members.  At the Friday ceremony we encouraged the rest of the student body to continue doing their best with their studies.

Prior to the ceremony, the Lakota students took part in some academic games, but as I was visiting the classroom it looked more like preparation for a trip to Las Vegas!  One class was playing Go Fish and the cards were being passed around quickly as everyone tried to match up their cards to win.   Another class was throwing marked chips to see how many you could get to come up with the mark showing.  They would shake them in a cup prior to throwing; at first I thought they were playing Yahtzee.

This weekend several of our staff will be taking part in the annual Polar Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics of South Dakota.  They had bake sales to raise money and also are sponsoring a Penny War in which students and staff can select from four staff members, yours truly included, to see who gets a whipped cream pie in the face. Final results will be revealed on Friday, February 6.  On February 7 our polar plunge team, TURTLE POWER, will join others in the local Chamberlain community to take a dip in the frigid Missouri River.

St. Joseph’s Polar Plunge Team is called Turtle Power.

This weekend several St. Joseph’s staff will be taking part in the annual Polar Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics of South Dakota.

One of our high school homes — Sheehy — hosted the annual Super Bowl party for all St. Joseph’s high school students.  The seventh and eighth graders were also invited to give them a little taste of what they have to look forward to. The house was divided into two viewing rooms based on who you favored — Seahawks or Patriots.  Snacks and refreshments were served, decks of cards and board games added to the fun. There was a variety of prizes awarded for a score or a great play came across the screen.  We also had the chance to pick what the score would be at the end of each quarter. I had the prize in my hands for 36 seconds until the Patriots allowed Seattle to move down the field and score.  Since the game was exciting down to the last minute everyone got caught up in the game and crowded into their favorite viewing area to cheer on their team.  It was an exciting evening filled with a lot of fun and good times.

I hope you all have a wonderful week as we begin a new month!

God bless,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



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